The Eggs Under The Red Flag
In the following, I have translated a blog post at a Chinese forum. What is so meaningful about this blog post? Not much. This is not about life-and-death, and it won't change the world. This is illustrative instead of definitive. There are some reasons for the English-only readers to read something like this.
The following is the translation of the fourth and final section of a forum post at Xici Hutong by 无住斋主:
I was discussing the war in Iraq with another friend. I was against the war, but he firmly supported America. The argument went on for a while until he finally agreed that it was wrong for the United States to go around the United Nations to start the war. But then he immediately said that there were problems at the United Nations. If the United States presented the motion, it definitely wouldn't pass. Therefore, the United Nations has to be reformed. And even if one doesn't like Japan, one will still have to support Japan's entry into the Security Council. Anyway, success will occur only when the United Nations will raise their hands to pass anything that the United States wants to do. What kind of logic is that? At the end, I can only think about giving him a physical beating, because there really was no other choice.
This reminds me of my dinner with [blogger] Anti. On that occasion, we somehow began talking about democracy. I said that the there are costs to democracy; furthermore, they are quite high. Anti got mad. He pounded the table and demanded to know what kind of political science I had learned at Beijing University. Maybe I learned something different from his, but it was just unacceptable. Perhaps this was what he referred to as the PK at the dinner. At the time, I did not escalate the debate. We went on talking, drinking and eating.
Anti is like that other friend of mine. For them, democratic freedom and the value system represented by the United States cannot be challenged because they are universal. Their conduct is like the extremist Christians who cannot tolerate anyone doubting that Maria, the mother of Jesus Christ, is a virgin. When I look at them, I am reminded of a song by Cui Jian: The Eggs Under The Red Flag.
Yes, we all grew up under a centralized ideology. Some people think that they had the insight to break off the control of the centralized system and found another life-saving system that is diversified. Unfortunately, they have unconsciously leapt into the other extreme and used another set of slogans (note: this is not theory -- they don't know the theory, and shouting slogans is more energy-saving than learning theory) to create another ideology in order to fight against the original ideology.
But, dear friends, when you have forced your so-called diversified ideology on top of others, aren't you creating yet another centralized ideology? I have seen a lot of such people who outside of China, so I guess that this was an original creation by the 'eggs' themselves. They must have just copied it over. It would not be bad if they had that kind of creativity, but unfortunately not.
But, you say, this is different. The world has changed. In the 1830's, the old-style imperialism wanted to import opium into China (When the Chinese refused, they came with cannons and rifles. What kind of free trade is that? What kind of inclusivity is that?). At the start of the twenty-first century, the new-style imperialism is exporting democracy to the Middle East. Something has changed, because the rifles have become cruise missiles and the cannons have become aircraft carriers.
"Two whatevers" -- "Whatever the enemy opposes, we will support; whatever the enemy supports, we will oppose." These two concepts were used by Anti and his ilk on others to a frightening degree.
Some time ago, Li Ao's speeches were criticized on the Internet. He was said to be pro-mainland and he was looking to gain something. I defended him to my friends. I said that it was impossible. What could that old man be looking to gain? If he were really that practical, why did he stew in jail back then? And then Li Ao said some barbing things on the podium at Beijing University and created painful spots for the propaganda system. So all these people reversed their positions. The propaganda system is the enemy. Anyone opposed by the enemy is a friend and we must support him. Meanwhile, a man named Li Nan came out to scold our new friend. He is the enemy and so the mobs rush to attack him.
I will state that this is my personal logical inference. Perhaps the principals have their own explanations. I am not like others who know nothing but speak as if they know the whole truth.
The above is the first level of the eggs. There is a second one.
As we grow up and get educated, there is no distinction between party and nation. Loving the party is identical to loving the nation, and that is not good. Some people become aware of it, and that is for the good. The party is just one part of the nation, so how could one part be used to stand for the whole?
Unfortunately, they begin to use their own method to equate party with nation. When they oppose that certain party, they completely disregard the interests of the nation and its people. They dislike the party, and they also hate their own country and their own people. There is an incredibly and maximally stupid character by the name of Jiao [translator's note: see The Counterattack Against Jiao Guobiao] who can look at the American soldiers and call them "Brother" without even asking if they will accept him. These people can't wait to lick the asses of the American soldiers and ask them to come here and liberate us. They don't care about whether they will end up being the slaves in a destroyed country or the servants of imperialists.
If you want to be liberated, you can go get liberated. I don't need the Americans to liberate me. Mr. Jiao did not seem to have asked for my opinion.
There is a third thing.
Li Ao spoke about Xiang Yu and Li Zicheng. There are quite a few of these characters. You all know about them, so there is no need to list all of them. Let us look back at Chinese history and we see a vicious cycle. When the ruler became incompetent, uncaring and immoral, the people were forced to rise up and resist. But the rebels rose up not to oppose the bad system or plan to reform that evil. They were only after the throne themselves. Once the rebellion succeeded, the rebels became exactly like those whom they originally opposed, and sometimes even worse. The people that they opposed were in fact their teachers -- spreading rumors, cruelty, extremism, barbarity, conspiracy, plots, power, slander, suppressing dissent, nothing is missing from the list.
This fast knot has not been undone up until today. I can see an attempt by Sun Yat-sen to solve this problem, but Mr. Sun's political and other intelligence were still a bit short. Therefore, he did not succeed, or else the people could have really benefited.
For the long-term interests of the people, this fast knot must be untied. There has to be a group of Chinese people with great wisdom and courage who can go beyond the current circle of weird people to bring China forward and give us hope.
Where is the hope? It is not to be found at this time. Li Ao went around indirectly to bring up 1989. But, my friends, how many rumors about 1989 are in circulation? Do you think that they were all manufactured by the ruling authorities? No, those anti-government people are every bit as good at creating rumors.
Before the march began, there were corruption and conspiracies at the square. Could you not know? Did you see the future from those people? You must be blind otherwise.
Overseas, there is a bunch of professional revolutionaries. They are not knowledgeable and they don't work. They are good at reading the winds. Whatever the Americans want, they will rush over. If opposing the government is impractical now, they start doing Taiwan independence. If Taiwan independence becomes unfashionable, there will always be Tibet independence and Xinjiang independence. It will always be possible to make a living. Besides being the chips in the American relationship with China, their other mission is to raise the flag as the conscience of the Chinese people in order to ruin the reputation of the Chinese people, so that the westerners will despise our people.
Inside China, there are many angry young men hiding behind computer screens. Under their own standards of "political correctness", they release their excessive energy with super-low brain activities. They follow the mob in action, they create rumors, they spread rumors and they do not anything for anyone. When Anti's first fake news was sent out, it was quickly picked up by Xici's 一毛不拔 and Tianya Club's 花沐兰 (I am guessing that it is the same person) and then embellished. That is a typical example. Anti may be on the wrong track, but I believe that he is honest. He may be wrong-headed, but he believes what he says and therefore I honor him as an "egg under the red flag." As for 一毛不拔 and 花沐兰, they can only be said to be "a pile of shit under the red flag."
Some people say that I am a leftist, and I accept that with some reservations. Most leftists are radicals, but I am more conservative than anyone else. I hope that I can reach a day when there is a timetable with bottom lines. It seems that the people I know also think so, and my ideas are probably similar to others.
The current system is not good, but I know where the bottom lines are. I can see that the Chinese people are getting more and more things every day, even though the speed is far too slow. But there is a key point -- whatever we get, we won't lose anymore. If people like Anti and others should come around and mess with things ... heavens! ... what kind of world will we end up in? I am scared. I have no empathy whatsoever with those people.
The political problems are practical but also very complicated A fundamental fact is this: we are always faced with two evils at any moment. Let us be smart and pick the slightly better one. We all hope that we should be getting the perfect thing, but unfortunately, we won't.
I advise certain people: spend some time on studying and think about the problems. It is a great thing for intellectuals to discuss politics, but we don't want ignoramuses to discuss politics.
I will close by quoting the words of another friend. A while ago, I met Brother Wu who is a doctoral student at LSE in London. We had a chat with beer and potato chips. Brother Wu said: "The biggest problem with the Chinese political system is that the challengers that it fosters are worse than the rulers now."